Return to Transcripts main page


Korean Summit; Omarosa Recorder Chief Of Staff Kelly Firing Her; Demonstrators Pay Tribute To Heather Heyer; Plane Stolen; Firefighters Make Progress Battling Holy Fire; Bote's Walkoff Grand Slam Rescues Cubs. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 13, 2018 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: -- bombshell tape she recorded in the White House situation room.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: And the leaders of North and South Korea announcing a summit in Pyongyang. We go live to Seoul. Good morning everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Goo to see you this morning. I'm Dave Briggs. Omarosa once tweeted my friend. Donald Trump tweeted about Omarosa always promises and delivers high drama.

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

BRIGGS: She sure does. We will get to that in a moment. But we start with the President returning to the White House tonight. Following a week at his New Jersey golf club that the White House called a working vacation. Special Counsel, Robert Mueller's Russia investigation perhaps top of mind in the west wing. Sunday, Rudy Giuliani telling CNN that if the President sits down for questioning by Mueller, he will deny he ever directed former FBI director, James Comey to end the investigation of former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.


RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: The President said he never told Comey that he should go easy on Flynn. Comey says the president did. He pit in his memo. If he goes in and testifies in that under oath, instead of just this being a dispute, they can say it is perjury. If they elect to believe Comey instead of Trump.


ROMANS: Contrast that to what Giuliani told ABC back in July.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is he a good witness for the President if he is saying the President was asking him or directing him in his words to let the Michael Flynn investigation go. GIULIANI: He didn't direct him to do that. What he said to him was,

can you give him a break.


ROMANS: Can you give him a break? Which is it? The President never asked Comey to give Flynn a break or he did? Last June the former FBI director told the Senate Committee, the President told him during that faithful meeting, I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go. To letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.

All right. Serious concerns about security in the White House now that we know former aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman was able to sneak a recording device into the situation room. Omarosa appeared on NBC "Meet the Press." She claims the recording you are about to hear is chief of staff, John Kelly firing her last December.


JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I think it is important to understand if we make this a friendly departure, we can all be -- you know, we can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation and you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: It is very obvious threat. He goes on to say that things can get ugly for you. The chief of staff of the United States under the direction of the President of the United States threatening me on damage to my reputation and things getting ugly for me. That is downright criminal. And if I did not have these recordings, no one in America would believe me. No one.


BRIGGS: Chief of Staff, John Kelly went on to tell Omarosa his concerns about her job performance involved money and integrity issues. Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders going on the attack with this statement, the very idea, a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House situation room shows a blatant disregard for our national security and to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of the former White House employee.

ROMANS: All right. 33 minutes pass the hour. Breaking overnight. North and South Korea have agreed to hold a third inter-Korean summit. CNN Paula Hancocks standing by live for us in Seoul. Paula, what do we know so far?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, we know that these summit between Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea will be held in September. Now, we heard from the North Korean side. There was a meeting today to discuss this. That they have set a date, but have not publicized exactly what that date is. The South Korean side, the Blue House saying that, realistically you cannot imagine it would be too early on in September. That could be difficult. So, certainly this is an interesting development. It is something that the South Korean President has said after he first met Kim Jong-un back in April was going to happen.

He said that he would go to Pyongyang in the autumn, now he would just be the third South Korean President to visit the North Korean capital. It would be the third meeting between these two men. And it comes in a time when the relations between the North and South Korea appear to be strengthening just as the relations between the U.S. and North Korea appear to be worsening. North Korea in recent weeks, had been slamming Washington for what it sees as unfair behavior saying that North Korea has been making concessions and they would like some of those sanctions to be lifted. The Washington has consistently said that they want denuclearization first then they would talk about sanctions. Many officials, including Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo have questioned whether or not there has been any steps towards denuclearization. Reports as well, suggesting that the nuclear missile program is progressing as normal. Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Thank you so much for that, Paula for us this morning in Seoul.

BRIGGS: Protesters against racism vastly outnumbering the small group of white nationalists demonstrating in Lafayette Park across from the White House.

[04:35:0[5] About two dozen white nationalists made their way from the metro station to a small stage for what was built as the unite the right two. They were shadowed the whole time by at least a couple of thousand counter protesters and a large contingent of police. The nationalist's speeches were at largely drowned out by the anti-racist group. White nationalists ended the program early and made a quick exit back to the metro station. Organizer Jason Kessler, who is also behind last year's unite the right rally in Charlottesville that left three dead, Heather Heyer and two members of State Police. Dozens more were injured, Kessler blames the low turn-out this year on logistical issues.

ROMANS: In Charlottesville, anti-Racism demonstrators gathered at the site where Heather Heyer was run over and killed last year. They paid a respect by using chalk scroll messages of remembrance on the street and on the walls of nearby buildings. Many of them expressing disgust with the police who are out enforce throughout the city. And Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, spoke to CNN about the tribute to her daughter.


SUSAN BRO, HEATHER HEYER'S MOTHER: I burst into tears when I first got there. There were some people there traumatized, because they had been there last year. It was very challenging for them. One young man hugged me and could not stop the tears rolling down his cheeks. Another one came up and said he had been there last year. It is a really hard time talking to me. I saw one young lady that just finished her third and fourth final surgery about a month ago and she walked up to hug me.


ROMANS: Police arrested four people at the Charlottesville protest. There were no reported injuries.

BRIGGS: President Trump posting a tweet ahead of the protest saying the riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in a senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to all Americans. That is a bit of the departure from his comments after last year's unite the right rally, when he said there were very fine people on both sides of the conflict. Critics said the President still has not specifically condemned white supremacists.

ROMANS: The GOP weighing its options after New York Republican Congressman, Chris Collins, suspended his re-election campaign on Saturday. Collins was indicted last week on charges related to insider trading. Collins continue to maintain his innocence. Republican operative tell CNN, officials are thinking nominating Collins for a town clerkship. One of the only ways he could be replaced on the ballot.

BRIGGS: Two strong Trump supporters have already indicated they will try for the seat. One is Carl Paladino, who ran of governor in 2010 and lost and later came under fire for making racist comments about Michelle Obama. The Collins scandal puts one of the most heavily Republican district in New York suddenly back in play and may affect the ability of Democrats to flip the house in November.

ROMANS: All right. Monsanto will pay hundreds of millions of dollars losing its first trial over claims weedkiller causes cancer. California jury awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper, Dwayne Johnson, it ruled that roundup caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The big Monsanto, the company that makes roundup, the world's most popular (inaudible). That is because it sets up a legal precedent for the thousands of other cases claiming roundup caused cancer. Johnson's case was the first to go to trial, because doctors said he was terminal, and dying plaintiff can get expedited trial in California. In 2015, the World Health Organization said the key ingredient in roundup, glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. Monsanto disagrees, it is like hundreds of other studies that say, glyphosate is safe. Monsanto stand by the product and Monsanto plans to appeal that decision.

BRIGGS: All right. Coming up, investigation under way to determine how a man in Seattle was able to steal this passenger plane, which prompted a military response. What he told the control tower moments before the fatal crash.


BRIGGS: 4:43 Eastern Time. A new concern about big gaps in airport security after a 29-year-old ground service agent stole a plane at Seattle Tacoma airport and took off without authorization and crashed into a wooded island with military jets on his tail. Richard Russell expressing remorse to air traffic controller's moments before dying in the wreckage and flames.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a lot of people that care about me and it is going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose, I guess. I never really knew it until now.


BRIGGS: CNN's Kyung Lah is in Seattle with the latest on the investigation.


KYUNG LAH, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Good morning, Christine and Dave. The NTSB has recovered the flight data recorder from this crash. It is on its way to Washington, D.C. It will be analyzed approximately mid-week. The investigators here hoping to learn a little bit more about exactly what was going on with the plane? This plane in the crash went through several hundred feet of trees. Virtually nothing is left of it, say investigators, other than one small wing section. The investigation shifting now to 29-year-old Richard Russell.

What was happening with the three and a half year horizon air employee? He had security clearance to be there as a grounds worker. He appeared happy at work. He posted video blogs of how much he enjoyed his job. He was -- according to his family, happily married. For them and the friends he had to hear those conversations he had with air traffic control. It is simply heartbreaking.


[04:45:15] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may seem difficult for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm and compassionate man. As the voice recording shows, Beebo's intent was not to harm anyone. He was right in saying that there are so many who have loved him.


LAH: Beebo is the family name for Russel, that is how they referred to him before giving that statement, the family held hands, they made a circle and they said a prayer. They said it is the faith that is helping them get through this. Christine and Dave.


ROMANS: What a remarkable story, Kyung Lah. Thank you for that.

In Baltimore, a Baltimore police say an officer caught on video beating a man has resigned. A warning here, the video from Saturday morning is disturbing. For 12 seconds, you can see the officer pummeling the man before pinning him to the ground with an arm across his neck. According to police, it began when officers approached the man to talk, release him and then approach him again, to fill up a citizens contact sheet that is something officers are required to do, anytime they make contact with a citizen. Police say, the situation escalated when the man refused to provide I.D. Baltimore's interim police commissioner said he is deeply disturbed by these incident.

BRIGGS: Some terrifying moments inside a Las Vegas dress shop when the store's security guard fired a gun at his manager. Police say it started over the weekend when the guard had some type of an argument with his boss. He left the Dress for less store and returned moments later with a handgun. Authorities says, he tried to shoot the manager with no regard for anyone else in the store. Police shot the guard outside the store short time later. No one in the store was injured. But the guard is being treated for multiple injuries.

ROMANS: Firefighters making major progress battling the holy fire in southern California. As of a few hours ago, that blaze now is 41 percent contained. Authorities have lifted evacuation orders in several neighborhoods and Lake Elsinore, the city, the most threaten by the fire. More than 11,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation. That is down from 21,000 on Friday. In the meantime the man suspected of starting that fire, Forest Gordon Clark, he is being held on $1 million bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum life sentence in prison.

BRIGGS: Heavy rain and rising flood waters giving a bride and groom a rough start on their wedding day. Police in New Jersey, helping rescue the couple and their wedding party, stuck in the rising waters over the weekend. Flash floods continue through the northeast. Here is Ivan Cabrera with the latest.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, guys, good morning. And once again the front that has been with us the last couple days with the rainfall on and off throughout the weekend is not the best in the week here in the northeast. But we continue with this front and so we continue with the same weather until about late Tuesday and to Wednesday. We finally begin to break out of the mess here which is of course, resulting in very heavy rainfall over last couple days. 2 to 4 inches of rainfall. Saturated grounds. We still have the flood watches over that impact millions. So once again, it is not going to take a lot of rain to provide us with potential force of flooding here as the area of low pressure is developing along the front.

That just means we are going to enhance the rainfall, well, to the point where we get another two to four inches likely in the next couple days. And then the front finally gets a push to the east and so that by Wednesday, we begin to clear things out temporarily. And we will get sunshine back and look what happens to the temperatures finally back to 90 before the next front comes in. Not the only system that we are tracking. By the end of the week, another one. But the temperatures will recover nicely if you are missing the August heat. It is back by mid-week. Guys.

ROMANS: All right. Ivan, thank you for that.

Spectacular final round for Tiger Woods in the PGA championship. It wasn't enough -- quite enough to catch the winner Brooks Koepka. It has been a decade since Tiger last won a major. His 64 on Sunday was the lowest final round score at the major tournament ever.

Did you see that one just tethered on the edge.

BRIGGS: Exactly. It made a one more rotation.

ROMANS: Woods finish second, two strokes behind the 28 year-old Koepka posted a 4 under 66 to his second major of the year defending U.S. open champ has now capture three of the last six major and that was -- well, worth the six hours yesterday.

BRIGGS: It was electric.

Speaking of, every kid who loves baseball has dreamed about this moment. Two outs and bottom at the ninth and bases loaded, down by three runs and you with a chance to be a hero.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk-off grand slam!


BRIGGS: Oh, what a moment late last night. That is David Bote of the Chicago Cubs. Smacking the pinch hit grand slam last night giving Chicago a stunning 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

[04:50:05] Bote is the first Cubs player since 1959 to come off with a walk-off grand slam. And he is a rookie, just his third ever career homerun. First time he hit a walk-off of any kind throughout, going back to little league. What a moment.

ROMANS: Wow. All right. 50 minutes past the hour. The turmoil in Turkey is causing a currency crisis there and that is rattling stocks around the world. We have that story next in CNN money.


BRIGGS: Defense Secretary, James Mattis is sending one of his three- star general to assist Saudi investigators in Yemen. They are looking into a deadly air strike that killed dozens of civilians including 40 children on a school bus. CNN has obtained the cell phone footage depicting the last moment of a group of school boys in northern Yemen before the strike by the U.S. back Saudi-led coalition. It is believed the student who shot the video died moments after the attack. The United Nations says it is the worst attack on children since Yemen's brutal war escalated three years ago.

ROMANS: All right. Turkey's President firing back at the U.S. in a speech he delivers to supporters, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened abandoned turkey's alliance with the U.S. after President Trump announce new sanctions and tariffs against his struggling country. Erdogan said Turkey would respond by exploring new markets and forming new alliances. CNN's Arwa Damon is live in Istanbul. Arwa? ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hi, Christine,

it is not the first time that we heard Turkey threaten to turn away from the U.S. away from NATO and look elsewhere presumably towards to the east and Russia for support. But this ongoing spat, a very bitter spat, between Turkey and the U.S. is having such a direct impact on the Turkish economy. That being said, it is not just because of the issues that Turkey has with the United States. Although a real death blow was dealt when President Trump tweeted out late last week that America would be doubling tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports.

That really sent the lira into a downward spiral. But at the core of all of these is of course, also the issues within Turkey's own economy. The very foundation is and was quite weak even before all of this happened. But of course, of great concern to the Turkish population right now is, where is this all going? Are these two leaders, the leaders of their own country, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and of course the leader of America, President Trump, going to continue with this back and forth that is really having widespread repercussions on this country and potentially even further beyond. Christine.

ROMANS: Yes. I was watching that currency crisis there. You know, it is something of a deep concern. Arwa, thank you so much for that.

Let's talk about that and the check on the CNN money this morning. The crisis in Turkey, rattling stock around the world. Europe just opted lower. Tokyo and Hong Kong down 1 and half percent. The Turkish Lira 20 percent last week, dropping another 11 percent overnight. The Lira's tail spin is dragging on bank shares, the concern here, banks have exposure to Turkey particularly in Europe. But even the U.S., Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley also at least fell 1.5 percent. That sent Wall Street lower, the DOW alone lost 200 points arising its gains, for the month.

Americans are shopping more than ever, but will the boom last? The U.S. releases July retail sales out of this week just as home depot and Macy's, Walmart and J.C. Penney report earnings. Consumer spending surged last quarter. Investors want to see that continue but will also play close attention to retailers predicting for the rest of the year. Because rising prices are beginning to eat into people's paychecks. Wages grew 2.7 percent over the past year. The cost of living grew $2.9 percent. Gas prices are up and tariffs are boosting prices on everything from cars to soda.

All right. Two lawsuits accuse tesla CEO, Elon Musk of misleading investors to boost share prices. Last week, Musk tweeted he secured funding to take tesla private at $420 a share, while above the stock price right now. He offered no further details. The suit claims Musk statement was false. His announcement boosted tesla stock price immediately, but then lost most of those gains since then largely due to the possibility of a probe of Musk, by Wall Street top regulator. The SDC looking in to whether Musk statement was even true and why he announce it on Twitter. It was remarkable. You were on vacation.

BRIGGS: It is always a wild ride with tesla in the last year.

ROMANS: I know.

BRIGGS: "Early Start" continues right now with the President getting back to work and the latest on the investigation into the plane stolen in Seattle.

President Trump returning to Washington to a new flip flop by his legal team. How Rudy Giuliani contradicted himself on a key question from the special counsel.




BRIGGS: Omarosa on the outs with President Trump. Will play the bombshell tape she recorded in the situation room.

ROMANS: And the leaders of North and South Korea announcing a summit in Pyongyang. We will go live to the region. Good morning everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." It is Monday morning, I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Very happiest Monday. Good to see you my friend. Very good as Monday, August 13, 5:00 a.m. in the East. The president once called her honest Omarosa, but now of course she is a low --